I know it sounds extremely cliché but I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by us. Is it really November already? I submitted my thesis a whole three months ago but it feels like just yesterday that I even began my PhD journey. So what have we been up to this month?

October marked another busy period for NUPSA, with events being held across Callaghan, Ourimbah, NeW Space and HMRI campuses. We were particularly excited about Chef Daniel’s amazing food demonstration which was presented to students in the city. Chef Daniel, who has a strong background in preparing a range of delicious home style meals, put on a masterclass which even our friends from MasterChef would be envious of.

The focus of the session was cooking to a budget and getting the most out of your food. I will admit that the long hours of postgraduate study have made me into a ‘convenience cook’, and so this session was really insightful in terms of what you can do with food quickly and with a few fresh ingredients. I was certainly inspired and I think a lot of our students were too.

Our monthly Shut Up and Write Boot Camps are now in full-swing across Callaghan and Ourimbah. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend, I strongly suggest you check them out. Whether you’re looking for a dedicated writing space, feedback and advice from peers, or a chance to learn more about mindfulness, then these sessions are for you. We’re really pleased with the interest and turnout from you guys, so we’re looking at ways to engage with more of you. We’ll be trialling sessions after usual work hours and across different campuses. So please watch this space.

This month we also teamed up with the local stadium to provide affordable tickets to see our local Newcastle A-League football team take on the Western Sydney Wanderers. I was unfortunately unable to attend, but I’m glad to hear that the Jets put in a gallant performance and salvaged a respectable draw against one of the most passionate fan-bases in the A-League. I hope we were able to get you guys interested in your local football team this time around (unlike those darn Knights). For those of you who were present that day, please send through some of your photos as we would love to share them.

Finally, October marked one of the biggest and most important periods in the NUPSA calendar: the nomination for the 2018 Executive. Representing and advocating for all postgraduate students at UON is fundamental for the development of a positive study experience. It’s also critical that those representing students act in the best interest of their peers to ensure that the student voice is heard.

It’s with great pleasure that I can announce to you that your 2018 NUPSA President-elect is Ashleigh McIntyre. Ash has been our Research Rep on the NUPSA Executive since 2016, during which time she has demonstrated her ongoing passion for student mental health and welfare. She’s also a strong advocate for greater transparency in terms of research funding for HDR students, and she is committed to improving the online student experience of our postgraduate community.

Ash leads a team of a number of continuing NUPSA Executive members as well several new members – I believe they’ll do a fantastic job serving postgraduate students in 2018. I wish them all the best and I look forward to seeing all the great work they’ll do.

As always I hope you are well and take care.

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